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The Arkansas Medical Marijuana commission gave River Valley Relief Cultivation approval on Tuesday to move their operations 5.6 miles across town. 

“We think it’s a better location,” explained Storm Nolan, the owner of River Valley Relief Cultivation. “It’s going to allow us to get up and going quickly because it’s a nice, well-built existing warehouse that is ready for us to start putting up walls and equipment.”Advertisement

However not everyone supported the change. Quenton May, an attorney based in Little Rock, spoke out at the commission meeting because ABC is investigating a claim filed against River Valley Productions LLC. Members of the Medical Marijuana Commission were told not to let that impact their decision.

“Ruling on a change of location for this applicant at this point is improper,” said May. “It’s premature, the application submitted by river valley production was not compliant when it was submitted.”

May said the original location of the cultivation site on South E Street was within 3000 feet of a school. Storm Nolan countered, saying it was a juvenile detention center and he had letters from the state board of education, Fort Smith Public Schools and Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office all stating the property was not a school. 

“None of this is surprising,” said Scott Hardin, a spokesperson for the Medical Marijuana Commission. “You have cultivation licenses that are valued at tens of millions of dollars if not more. To say it’s a competitive process is an extreme understatement.” 

With the commission’s approval, Nolan hopes to have the new cultivation site approved to grow medical marijuana by the start of 2021. “Everyday that we’re not under construction is a stressful day, and so that’s our number one goal is to get up and running so we can serve our Arkansas patients.”